If Artificial Intelligence is taking over the world, it’s going to take some jobs with it, including a myriad of marketing jobs. Economist W. Brain Arthur estimates the developing technology will replace 100 million jobs by 2025. With the civilian workforce currently at 158 million, that’s a significant portion of people being replaced by robots and similar digital solutions.
Regardless if this is an accurate prediction, there is a reality within the business landscape that needs to be faced. Technology has and will continue to phase out certain jobs. There are some things technology has streamlined and taken on that most people wouldn’t dream of returning to the old ways. On the other hand, there are some complexities and nuances machines are not sophisticated enough to learn. Even as machine learning and artificial intelligence is enhanced to the point of human-level processing, nothing will ever replicate the subtle capabilities of the human brain.
Here we take a look at which marketing jobs could be on the technology-driven chopping block, and which jobs, no matter how good machines get, are human dominated.
Traditionally, this role fell to a person driven by numbers, statistics and the science behind key performance indicators. The analysis person interpreted the outcomes, both successes and failures, as part of the bigger picture. It was his job to find the numbers and make conclusions.
All these manual calculations have been automated by the numerous marketing technology tools available today. Because of this reality, the analyst position is the most likely marketing function to be eliminated by technology, with one source pinning a 61% probability on marketing analysts and specialists being cut.
Marketing technology has countless capabilities to track, aggregate and even decipher data, from the biggest facts to the smallest details. Marketing automation platforms (MAPs) are a form of marketing computerization that are growing in popularity because of their functionality in bringing analysis, management and transparency to a singular platform.
Social Media Managers
One of the marketing jobs that juggles with multiple Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Google+ accounts has some top-notch multitasking skills. However, technology can do this in a more linear and clear format without confusing one hashtag strategy from another. The advantage of an in-person social media manager is her ability to handle negative interactions, mentions and replies. She can then do damage control as needed.
This very small need often gets overshadowed by the thousands of “social media bots” entering the scene. The sophistication of these tools has reached the point of learning and mimicking human speech and behavior patterns on social networks. Lessons learned from Microsoft’s Tay will evolve these bots to generate engaging social content at the right times, but takes the human element out of the equation.
The sliding scale of content creators ranges from the highly technical to the wildly creative. The scale of their expendability also slides based on these characteristics. According to Frey and Osborne, technical writers, proofreaders and copy writers are at a much greater risk for being replaced than those on the artistic expression end of the spectrum. Technical writers have an 89% probability of being replaced by computerization with proofreaders and copywriters right behind with 84%.
The more exact and easily replicated the content, the more likely a computer can be programmed to produce the same results. Fluid and inventive content requires the dexterity of the human brain. Thinking, behaving and working less like a machine and more like a human secures jobs for now.
What to Do About It
To both embrace the digital transformation of business and fight the loss of marketing jobs to robots, marketers must be open to change, continue to think creatively and fully use their human understanding of customers. As the past has demonstrated, technology can actually create more jobs than it eliminates, but only with a forward-thinking mindset.